Winter commencement set for Dec. 16

December 11, 2017


More than 774 students will march across the stage to receive their degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 2017 winter commencement. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at Kachel Fieldhouse. The event marks the first time in its almost 150-year history that the university will confer a doctoral degree. Ten students will receive their doctorate of business administration, or DBA.

This year's commencement speaker is Yolanda McGowan, who graduated from UW-Whitewater cum laude in 1990 with a B.S. in political science with a minor in speech and went on to earn her law degree from UW-Madison. A prosecuting attorney with the Department of Safety and Professional Services, McGowan also serves as legal counsel for the Office of the National Black Student Union and on the Milwaukee Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., an organization of college-educated women focused on sisterhood, service and scholarship.


The student speaker is Eleana Álvarez Yépez, an economics major from Carora, Venezuela, who will be receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration. Her language skills led her to study abroad in Lu╠łneburg, Germany, and to tutor students in her native Spanish at the Mary Poppe Chrisman Success Center on campus. Álvarez plans to pursue her master's degree in international business and sustainability in Hamburg, Germany.

The ceremony will recognize 92 undergraduates from the College of Arts and Communication, 200 from the College of Business and Economics, 157 from the College of Education and Professional Studies and 247 from the College of Letters and Sciences. The School of Graduate Studies will award master's degrees to 78 students.

The graduating class includes 5 international students, 44 military veterans and 144 nontraditional students, defined as undergraduate students who are 25 years of age or older. In addition, 69 self-identified students with disabilities will receive degrees.

Commencement will be broadcast live online by UWW-TV, the university television station.  

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